Antonio’s verdict on Brighton: “We showed great personality”
Sat 08 October 2022, 21:25|Tottenham Hotspur
At such a difficult time for everyone off the pitch, Antonio Conte paid tribute to the performance of the players on it as we came away from the Amex with a hard-earned victory in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
The sad passing of fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone rocked everyone om Thursday, but Antonio and the players dug deep to deliver a display against a Brighton side sitting proudly in fourth going into the weekend off the back of a fine 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield last week.
Antonio made changes to the team and the system, switching to a 3-5-2 with Matt Doherty back for his first start, Yves Bissouma facing his former club and Ben Davies and Ryan Sessegnon also returning.
We started impressively, got on the front foot and deserved our lead on 21 minutes when Harry Kane stooped to head home Heung-Min Son’s cross. We had further chances although Brighton began to get a foot in the game and then pushed us back in the second half, but we stayed strong and kept them to efforts from distance. At the other end, Sonny had a beauty disallowed for offside and Harry whistled an effort just wide.
Speaking to SPURSPLAY after what must have been an emotionally draining few days, Antonio told us: “It was a good win, and we showed great personality here. We played a good game with a lot of pressure, we accepted the man-to-man in every zone all over the pitch and I think we deserved to win a difficult game.
“Don’t forget Brighton is a really good team, their position in the table shows they are doing really well, they had a really good start to the season and to win away here isn’t easy.
“I’m happy because Matthew played his first game of the season, finally, and Sessegnon played a really good game, he showed that he is a reliable player, he’s a really young player but he’s improving a lot.
“Biss played from the start and played a good game, then, at one point, I wanted to change to put another striker on, because I felt the team was going down, and I wanted to send a signal to the team. So, I put a striker on, and we had to go forward to try to score a second goal, not only to defend. It was also positive for Skippy, he played after a really bad injury. So, a lot of positives.
“Now we have to recover well and to prepare in the best way for the game (at home against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Champions League) on Wednesday and, for this reason, I have to ask something to our fans… to create a fantastic atmosphere, because the team and I want to go through to the next round, and we know the next two games are decisive. We have to try to play with 13 players - 11 players and two more players, and they have to be our fans.”